Wallpaper vs. Paint: The Better Choice

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    It’s an age-old debate - which is better: paint or wallpaper? While the battle between wall paint vs wallpaper is one that has been going on for years, there’s no clear winner - it’s entirely up to your preferences.

    Whether you’re new to the home decorating space or are feeling indecisive about whether to paint or wallpaper your home, there are some key advantages and disadvantages to keep in mind when making your decision. Residential painting can set the tone for your space, and ensuring a choice that is timeless and embodies your personal taste is a must to make a house a home. But don’t worry - our team at Oahu Pro Painters is here to help.

    To help you through the process of deciding between wallpaper and paint, we are sharing all the information you need to find the right solution for your space. With all the pros and cons, costs, and considerations, we are here to help you make the right decision. Let’s dive right in!

    It’s the age-old home decorating choice…wallpaper or paint? Choosing between the two can be difficult as both present several benefits and disadvantages.

    At Oahu Pro Painters, we deliver a professional paint job using high-quality, premium paint. Our work delivers a long-lasting finish, and we’ll even help you develop a color scheme that suits your home, taste, and theme.

    But, we also think that choice is important, and we’re here to bring you as much information as we can so you can make the right decision. In this piece, we’ll examine the benefits and disadvantages of wallpaper and paint, and hopefully, we’ll help you make the right decision for your home!

    So, paint or wallpaper: which is better? With so many factors to consider, there’s no wonder the wallpaper and painting debate has gone on for so long. To help make a decision based on your priorities, taste, and preferences, here are the top factors to consider when choosing between wall paint vs wallpaper.

    When it comes to the paint or wallpaper debate, one of the top considerations is durability. Unfortunately, paint is prone to chipping and often needs a touchup through the years in order to keep it looking fresh and clean. Especially in rooms with high moisture, like a bathroom, it’s important to use waterproof paint to enhance durability.

    Additionally, in high-traffic rooms, you can expect to repaint your walls at least every 3 to 5 years to keep them in tip-top shape. Thankfully, paint options have evolved over the years, so you can even find options that allow you to scrub away marks so you don’t have to repaint with every new knick and scratch.

    On the other side of the debate is wallpaper durability. While older wallpapers may have been more fragile, the latest designs are more durable and easier to clean. However, wallpaper still doesn’t fare well in more moisture-prone rooms, so it is best reserved for living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms where moisture levels are low. Worried about messy kids and pets? Opt for vinyl wallpaper options for a more durable design.

    Paint Durability Pros & Cons

    Still, wondering if the paint is the right choice? Here are the pros and cons you should keep in mind.

    Paint Pros:

    • Paint can last up to 10 years - perfect for a long-term finish.
    • Some paint options offer more washable formulas, allowing you to remove marks without a need to repaint.
    • Paint is easier to apply and touch up than wallpaper. So, when a mark does appear, you can quickly touch up a single spot, versus replacing an entire wall of paper.

    Paint Cons:

    • Paint can chip, making a room look old and disheveled.
    • More waterproof, washable paint designs can have a more rough, less appealing texture.

    Wallpaper Durability Pros & Cons

    When it comes to the pros and cons of wallpaper, it’s a close match. To understand the durability of wallpaper, here are our main takeaways.

    Wallpaper Pros:

    • Wallpaper can last longer than paint, offering up to 15 years of durability when maintained correctly.
    • This surface is wonderful for high-traffic areas and will show less daily wear and tear.

    Wallpaper Cons:

    • Wallpaper must be fitted correctly to avoid unnecessary tearing and a clean finish.
    • Over the years, seams of the wallpaper may lift, requiring repair.
    • Wallpaper is not suitable for damp environments where it may peel away faster.
    • A single mark or tear in wallpaper can require a replacement of an entire wall of paper.

    When ensuring a smooth, high-quality finish, whether you choose to paint or wallpaper, the proper preparation is essential to getting your desired results. If your walls are in rough condition and need a bit of fixing, this is when that happens. But how does painting and wallpaper affect that process?

    If you choose interior house painting, you must take extra caution and precision during the preparation stage. When painting walls, even the smallest imperfections will be amplified by a fresh coat of paint, so getting a super even, smooth surface is a must.

    However, there are different considerations when preparing to wallpaper a space. During your prep, you must make sure that the wallpaper you choose and the current color of your walls are similar. This is especially important when buying a light wallpaper, where you’ll need a light paint color below to avoid skewing the final shade.

    Paint Preparation Pros & Cons

    When debating wall paint vs wallpaper preparation needs, it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each. Starting with painting, the pros and cons include:

    Paint Pros:

    • The old layers of paint don’t always have to be removed when repainting walls, saving a lot of time.
    • Damage to surfaces is quick to repair with spackle, which will sit for 24 hours prior to priming and painting.
    • Painting requires less preparation time versus the more complicated wallpaper application needs.

    Paint Cons:

    • When applying lighter shades over old dark ones, you will have to paint multiple layers, which takes more time and money.
    • Walls must be even in order to get a high-quality finish.

    Wallpaper Preparation Pros & Cons

    If you’re wondering “why to use wallpaper instead of paint” we’ve got the answers. Here are both the pros, as well as the cons, of choosing wallpaper instead of paint when it comes to the topic of preparation.

    Wallpaper Pros:

    • Wallpaper is more durable, so it’s worth the added application time.
    • Walls do not need to be as smooth to apply wallpaper.

    Wallpaper Cons:

    • You must remove the old wallpaper to apply the new wallpaper.
    • The paint shade beneath the wallpaper must be similar to the color of the paper, which, in some cases, may require repainting the walls first.

    We know what the big question is here - what’s the paint vs wallpaper cost. Don’t worry, we’re breaking it down.

    Typically, the paint will cost less upfront than wallpaper when considering just the paint itself. The actual price can vary based on the type of paint, finish, and brand, but usually, it still rings lower than wallpaper. However, opting for the more expensive option is sometimes worth it, especially when higher quality paints are said to last longer.

    That being said, if you opt for lower-cost paints, you may have to touch them up every now and then. Additionally, painting requires more than just the paint itself, so take account of added prices for essentials like paint trays, brushes, rollers, tape, and protection for floors and furniture.

    But, is paint or wallpaper cheaper? When it comes to wallpaper, your big costs hit right up front with paper costs and the installation materials needed for seamless application. That being said, this option tends to last longer than paint, making it less of a long-term investment. Additionally, you can opt for removable wallpaper to further cut down on costs in the long run if you think you’ll want to replace it over the years.

    Paint Cost Pros & Cons

    To help better compare paint vs wallpaper cost, we are summing up the pros and cons of paint to help make your decision.

    Paint Pros:

    • Paint is a great way to decorate and upgrade a room on a budget, with a range of brands and finishes to suit your pocketbook.
    • Painters, like those at Oahu Pro Painters, offer high-quality painting services, even for the tightest of budgets.
    • Paint is easy to touch up in case any damage occurs.

    Paint Cons:

    • Paint doesn't last as long as wallpaper, so there may be more long-term costs to fix it.
    • Having extra paint on hand is needed to maintain walls, but it can boost the initial costs.

    Wallpaper Cost Pros & Cons

    While many believe wallpaper is a much pricier alternative to paint, this is actually a bit of a misconception. To help you understand, here are the pros and cons of this choice.

    Wallpaper Pros:

    • There are more affordable wallpapers on the market to support different budgets.
    • Since they last longer, the long-term costs of wallpaper are often lower.

    Wallpaper Cons:

    • Large homes require much more wallpaper, which can add up.
    • It’s important to have extra rolls on hand to fix any damage that may occur over the years.
    • Lower-end wallpaper is more prone to fading, peeling, or damage.

    When debating between paint and wallpaper, another key factor is location.

    There are some barriers to the application of these wall enhancements, specifically when it comes to more wet areas like bathrooms. Locations that tend to have more moisture are better suited for paint, which will be more durable in these spots and offer a bright pop of color.

    While wallpaper has become increasingly durable over the years, it still doesn’t fare well in humid locations like kitchens and bathrooms. If placed in these spots, more frequent repairs may be required, which might not be worth it in the long run. Additionally, if a room gets a ton of light, wallpaper is subject to fading over the years.

    Paint Locations Pros & Cons

    The last thing you want is to pick out a color you love, and then find out it’s not suited for your space. To help you decide between wallpaper and painting, here are the pros and cons of choosing paint.

    Paint Pros:

    • Paint is more durable in various environments, including wet or humid spots like bathrooms and kitchens.
    • Paint is easier to clean if it gets a stain or mark.

    Paint Cons:

    • Paint will need touch-ups over the years, especially in these more high-traffic rooms like offices.

    Wallpaper Locations Pros & Cons

    Wallpaper is a fun, intricate enhancement to your home or office, but it won’t work in all your rooms. Here are the pros and cons of opting for wallpaper.

    Wallpaper Pros:

    • Wallpaper is wonderful for dry, well-ventilated rooms.
    • Wallpaper lasts longer than paint, requiring fewer touch-ups.

    Wallpaper Cons:

    • The wallpaper will peel in wet environments like bathrooms.
    • Wallpaper may fade in super bright locations.
    • It can get stains in areas like the kitchen, requiring the whole roll of wallpaper to be replaced.

    It’s important to make your home feel like a reflection of you, and in order to do this, you need a wide selection and variety of paint or wallpaper options to find the right one for your space.

    When looking at selection and variety when comparing which is better: paint or wallpaper, there are a lot of options for each. As wallpaper makes a comeback, there are endless patterns, hues, and textures available to suit your unique style. Plus, with designs and patterns, you can even further show off your style with a unique print that’s perfect for you. Also, some companies offer custom images or printing to get just the wallpaper you’ve dreamed of.

    Paint, on the other hand, comes in a unique range of colors. Coming in every shade you can imagine, paint cans, obviously, feature just one hue. So, if you want a more unique, intricate pattern, you will have to buy a few different shades. But the world is your oyster when it comes to paint variety, and it can even be a bit overwhelming. To assist, our team at Oahu Pro Painters offers color consultations to find the perfect shade for your space.  

    Paint Selection and Variety Pros & Cons

    There’s a lot to consider when debating paint vs wallpaper: which is the better choice. To help, here are the pros and cons of going with paint when it comes to the selection and variety of options available.

    Paint Pros:

    • Paints come in a truly endless range of colors that you can mix and match to create your custom shade.
    • Perfect for solid-colored walls, paint can drench your space in a fresh hue.
    • This is an ideal choice if you’re looking to easily change the style of your home.

    Paint Cons:

    • Creating designs with paint takes more expertise and time.
    • Designs and prints won’t always look as precise.

    The Perfect Finish Starts With You

    Breathe new life into your space. Entrust Oahu Pro Painters with your property and expect results of the highest quality.


    Oahu Pro Painters is a team of local painting professionals with years of experience transforming homes of all sizes.

    Contact us today and we’ll help you develop a style and color theme, and create a custom home decorating plan that suits your budget!


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